Tom Pidcock moved to within three seconds of the overall lead in the Tour of Britain after a flying third place behind bunch sprint winner Jordi Meeus of Bora-Hansgrohe on stage five.
Ineos Grenadiers rider Pidcock pipped friend and fellow Yorkshireman Sam Watson (Great Britain) into fourth, with Stanisław Aniołkowski (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB) finishing second on the 186.8km outing from West Bridgford to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire.
They had all been dealt a bonus card in the last 500 metres when some of the bunch, including top sprinter Cees Bol, unwittingly took the long way round a junction and effectively took themselves out of contention.
Compared to the relentless and very hilly previous day across the North York Moors, today was considerably more straightforward. There were only a pair of cat-three climbs to deal with and the weather was dull but mostly fairly dry.
How it happened
In contrast to yesterday's 35km of attacking and counter-attacking before Magnus Sheffield finally made it stick, Ribble-Weldtite rider Zeb Kyffin was away just two kilometres from the start at West Bridgford today. Although his teammates Charlie and Harry Tanfield had been a prominent feature of the breakaway on stage two, Ribble have yet to take a stage or pull on a classification jersey and Kyffin, undoubtedly, was out to rectify that.
Londoner Kyffin, who has won stages of the Manx International and the Peaks Two-Day this year, was quickly joined by three more riders: Alessandro Iacchi (Team Qhubeka), Matthew Teggart (Wiv-Sungod) and Spain's Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros). Of the four, Iacchi was most keenly poised for the GC, lying in 13th place at 28 seconds; as a result the bunch were never likely to give the quartet too much rope.
All the same, 90 kilometres later the escapees still had a three-minute advantage. They had been over the first classified climb and the first sprint, with Teggart taking both and strengthening his lead in the intermediate sprints competition.
The break maintained a two-minute lead through the 50km to go mark, but shortly afterwards things went slightly awry with Teggart and Iacchi apparently falling out with each other over the points at the second sprint in Retford.
Clearly not keen for his work to be undone by intra-break squabbling, Kyffin took advantage of the situation to put in a ferocious attack, immediately gaining ground. While Teggart and Iacchi marked each other out behind, Nicolau bridged across to the Ribble rider and then it was two.
While the pair worked well together, the bunch clearly had designs on the finish, and between 20 and 10 kilometres to go, as the weather became decidedly moist, the gap tumbled down to zero with some hard riding behind.
With Kyffin and Nicolau caught, Team DSM, Ineos Grenadiers and Great Britain swiftly began marshalling their lead-outs going through Mansfield Woodhouse as the finish fast approached. With an exceptionally strong looking Ineos Grenadiers lining the race out through the final kilometre in service of Pidcock, and DSM suddenly and irrevocably marooning themselves the wrong side of a central reservation, the way was paved for Meeus, Aniołkowski and their two Yorkshire rivals to unleash the watts to the line. Kyffin too, despite being caught, did not go unrewarded for his efforts and was given the Combativity award for the day.
RESULTS: TOUR OF BRITAIN 2022 STAGE FIVE, WEST BRIDGFORD TO MANSFIELD
1. Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4-22-28
2. Stanisław Aniołkowski (Pol) Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB
3. Tom Pidcock (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers
4. Sam Watson (GBR) Great Britain
5. Aaron Van Poucke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Nicolo Parisinì (Ita) Team Qhubeka
7. Martin Marcellusi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
8. Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
9. Corbin Strong (NZl) Israel-PremierTech
10. Jim Brown (GBR) Wiv-Sungod
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE FIVE
1. Gonzalo Serrano (Spa) Movistar in 20-53-01
2. Tom Pidcock (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers
3. Oscar Fraile (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
4. Ben Perry (Can) Wiv-Sungod
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Israel-PremierTech
6. Corbin Strong (NZl) Israel-PremierTech
7. Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB
8. Jake Stewart (GBR) Great Britain
9. Alessandro Iacchi (Ita) Team Qhubeka
10. Magnus Sheffield (USA) Ineos Grenadiers
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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields.
Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.
A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness), but he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.
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